When the students do Interpersonal Speaking assessments with me, I found that they struggled to keep the conversation going because they didn’t know phrases like “Repeat,” “Slow down,” “I agree,” etc. I tried putting those phrases in some activities in class, but they were not remembering them long term. I later tried the “Phrase of the Week” and I finally saw some confident speakers! Here’s what we do: On Monday, I give them a phrase of the week. This past week we did “Estoy de acuerdo” (I agree). I put it on my cart and on the wall in my classrooms. I encourage the students to make a list and write it down. Some do, some don’t. To practice at the beginning of class, we pass around a ball. One person says any statement like “El substituto es muy guapo, no?” Then passes the ball to a student of their choice for them to say, “Estoy de acuerdo!” or “No estoy de acuerdo.” I carry a bunch of blank tickets in my pocket. Every time a students uses the phrase correctly in context, they get a ticket. I’ve found that they listen to me more because they are listening for their chance to say it! Tickets They put their name on the back and put it in a little bucket hanging on my cart. I got my little bucket at Hobby Lobby for like $2 and the magnetic hook from Staples. On Fridays, I draw one ticket from the bucket and that student gets a little prize (try to use cultural prizes… Chili lime chips, the little bananas from South America, a woven bracelet, etc). I rarely stick with this for the entire semester, but it’s fun while we do it! I also let the students make these, especially when there’s a field trip and my classes are mostly gone. They come up with the best phrases!

A bulletin board for the current and past phrases:

Here’s a list of phrases I’ve used in the past:


¿Qué pasa, calabaza?

No sé

Por supuesto




No te preocupes


Estoy bromeando


Vale la pena

By Units:

movies: hay que verla, qué desastre, de acuerdo

music: dime cantando, cántamelo, genial, Qué pegosa

food: basta, qué rico, pruébalo

family: no me digas

activities: yo también,

making plans: claro, vale

I got most of the supplies at Office Depot, but if you like to shop from home…